Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nutter Confirms Budget Deal Without Property Tax Hike

Mayor Nutter just confirmed that he has reached a revised budget deal with City Council that takes his controversial proposed property tax hike off the table.

Nutter Confirms Budget Deal Without Property Tax Hike

"This budget agreement reflects the reality of the legislative process," Mayor Nutter said. (Kevin Cook/Staff file photo)
"This budget agreement reflects the reality of the legislative process," Mayor Nutter said. (Kevin Cook/Staff file photo)

Mayor Nutter just confirmed that he has reached a revised budget deal with City Council that takes his controversial proposed property tax hike off the table.  He called that result of a compromise that leaves city residents as winners.

"This budget agreement reflects the reality of the legislative process. And I’ve seen if from both sides," said Nutter, emphasizing cooperation with Council's members. "We’re not talking about winners or losers."

At a City Hall press conference, flanked by ten Council members, Nutter said the city will deal with a $1.4 billion five-year financial hole through a a five-year temporary sales tax hike by 1 cent on the dollar. And to ease immediate financial pressures, they plan to defer payments into the city pension fund for two years, paying the fund back later.

The sales tax plan and pension deferrals require state approval.

The revised deal marks a political loss for Nutter, who had insisted that a temporary property tax hike coupled with a temporary sales tax increase was the responsible way to close the budget gap without substantially cutting services.

But with time running out before an end-of-May deadline to pass the budget, Nutter simply didn’t have the votes. Seven Council members publicly stated last week that they would not support a property tax hike.

Nutter’s property tax pitch was also weakened by the recent release of a new set of “actual value” assessments that would change most homeowners’ taxes and by an investigation by the Philadelphia Inquirer into the Board of Revision of Taxes, which sets city property taxes. The stories revealed longstanding mismanagement, political patronage and inaccurate assessments.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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